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Casseroles for a cause

November 24, 2010

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This morning, I went to school to help my son’s third-grade class make casseroles for the homeless. Parents chipped in and brought the ingredients, and today we put the casseroles together in the lunchroom. My group of kids, above, included my son, Jake (in the red sweatshirt), and his friends Seth, Angel, and Alexis.

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The school cook, Doris, came out of the kitchen to tell the kids how important it is to help the less fortunate. She said some of the local homeless shelters don’t have enough money for the big Thanksgiving dinner they normally prepare, which is just sad. Jake’s teacher said the 8 casseroles the two classes made will feed 80 people. The shelter uses 125 of these casseroles in a week, so clearly there is a need. It was a great experience for the kids, and wonderful of the teachers to make time in the school day to give back. I’m thinking this would also be a good thing for our Cub Scout pack to do. I’m going to put that on the agenda.

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Preparing the casserole was a good math lesson for the kids, too! We needed two cups of milk, and only had a 1/2-cup measuring cup. How many measuring cups do we need to fill? Four! Yes! The kids all did a great job. They each got to crack an egg into the mixing bowl, and not one bit of shell had to be fished out! They also had fun using the slap-chopper to cut up the onions and peppers, and they each got a turn running the mixer, which was exciting. Our finished casseroles went into the school freezer, and Seth’s mom will deliver them to a local shelter.

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Here’s the casserole they made. It’s an easy recipe that freezes well and would make a wonderful donation to a shelter this holiday season or anytime.

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2 cups grated Cheddar cheese

1 lb. sausage or hamburger, browned, or chopped cooked ham

4 eggs

2 cups of milk

1 cup of baking mix (Bisquick)

Salt and pepper to taste

1 Tbsp. taco seasoning or paprika

Green peppers or onions, chopped (optional)

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Place meat and cheese in a greased baking dish. Sprinkle taco seasoning on top. Add chopped peppers and onions, if desired.

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Next, combine eggs, milk, salt, pepper, and baking mix in a large mixing bowl. Beat with hand mixer for one minute. Pour over meat and cheese, and sprinkle with additional taco seasoning or paprika if desired.

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Cover with foil, write the baking directions on the foil with a permanent marker, and freeze. Take it to your shelter.

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If you’re making this for your family, either bake immediately or thaw completely in the refrigerator. Bake at 375 degrees F. for 35 to 40 minutes, until set.

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